Frances Bean Cobain’s Photographer Opens Up About Portraits

2011-11-11

Story by Anne Erickson

Frances Bean Cobain’s Photographer Says Photos Were a ‘Testimony of Her 18 Years’

Not many people leave their profession when they’re at the top of their craft. But photographer Hedi Slimane isn’t just anybody, and that’s the route he took when the he left his role as artistic director at Dior Homme in 2007, following a stellar run styling rockers such as Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Jack White.

Slimane, instead, set out to pursue photography. Since then, he’s captured striking portraits — most of them black and white — of everyone from Amy Winehouse to Lady Gaga to Kate Moss. Of course, his post-fashion profile as a photographer really received a boost when Slimane recently photographed a striking, now-mature Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. The salient black and white photos caused an Internet uproar, bringing Slimane’s profile back to the center stage.

In an email interview with the New York Times, Slimane explained that the portraits of Cobain were meant to celebrate her young life. “It was about a simple testimony of her 18 years,” Slimane wrote. Moreover, Cobain was a perfect subject for Slimane, since much of his work carries an inherent focus on the “transient age between childhood and adulthood,” he said. “It is about transformation, and search of identity,” he wote. “By nature, it is undefined, both psychologically and physically.”

Many of Slimane’s subjects, he added, don’t yet know the beauty and power they possess. He wrote that he’s drawn to, “a certain creative honesty, an authenticity, sometimes a vulnerability” when choosing personalities to shoot, and he picks subjects who “are usually not yet fully aware of their talent or grace.” Sounds like Ms. Cobain to a tee. In other news, Billy Corgan, frontman for 1990s alternative rock outfit the Smashing Pumpkins, recently expressed concern and care for Cobain, saying, “I certainly care for what happens to her in this world, and I’m glad to see she’s making her own way.”

 




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